Agreement Marks Catamounts First Time to Outsource in University History
BURLINGTON, Vt. – University of Vermont looks to collegiate multimedia rights leader Learfield Sports to represent the Catamounts through 2025 in an agreement announced today by Athletic Director Dr. Bob Corran and Learfield’s President and CEO Greg Brown.
For the first time in school history, Vermont is outsourcing its comprehensive athletic rights, which will commence with the 2015-16 season. Learfield has begun assembling staff for the establishment of its local “Vermont Sports Properties” entity to work alongside Dr. Corran and the entire athletic administration. Vermont becomes the fifth university competing in the Hockey East Association for Learfield Sports to represent – joined by Maine, New Hampshire, UMass and Providence – and the third America East Conference member school, along with Maine and New Hampshire.
Vermont Sports Properties will operate as a property of Learfield Sports and manage every aspect of the comprehensive rights relationship that includes signage, digital, corporate sponsorships, hospitality, event marketing, radio play-by-play and coaches’ shows, and some television. To ensure a seamless transition, radio affiliates WVMT 620 AM and ESPN 101.3 FM will continue to broadcast hockey and basketball games. Additionally, Learfield companies SIDEARM Sports and Learfield Licensing Partners already have relationships with the Catamounts for official website development of uvmathletics.com and licensing and brand management, respectively.
“We are very fortunate to have developed such a wonderful partnership with Learfield Sports,” said Dr. Corran. “This will allow us to focus greater efforts on promotions, communications, and brand building while enabling Learfield staff to bring their considerable organization and experience to sponsorship and multi-media sales. We’re very excited about the future of Catamount Athletics and Learfield’s role in helping securing that future.”
“We’re honored to partner with a first-class university like Vermont particularly as we extend our reach in the New England states and now have the privilege of representing flagship schools in five of those states,” said Brown. “We look forward to working with Bob and his administration to provide a new level of sophisticated rights support for the Catamounts. It will be a pleasure to represent them and help move the needle on elevating their brand.”
Appointed general manager for Learfield’s Vermont Sports Properties is Mike MacConnell, a seasoned sports marketer and sponsorship professional who has worked in the Northeast for nearly 15 years holding various management roles with top organizations such as Octagon, Acushnet and the NHL’s Boston Bruins. MacConnell received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College and master’s degree from UMass, and he most recently served as chief marketing officer for Urban Rhino in Burlington, Vt.
Learfield Sports manages the multimedia rights for more than 100 collegiate institutions. Its rich history includes four decades of developing trusted, long-term relationships with some of the most revered institutions and associations in the world of college sports. The company has prominence in all of the major conferences and titles the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup with award co-founders NACDA and USA Today. Learfield represents collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas for their respective multimedia rights and sponsorship initiatives, and offers these partners with professional concessions and ticket sales, licensing and trademark consulting, digital platform expertise and venue signage and technology systems through its owned companies. To learn more about Learfield’s history, businesses and job opportunities, visit www.learfieldsports.com.